Posted on January 13th, 2021
What’s in a tune-up?
If you’ve spoken to anyone in the home comfort industry you’ve heard about tune-ups! Furnace and air conditioning manufacturers recommend that your equipment receives maintenance annually, and it is usually necessary in order to keep warranties valid. You may have heard about them, but do you really know what’s in a tune-up?
So why do we focus so much on tune-ups? Any mechanical equipment is going to require regular maintenance to properly function and prevent breakdowns. You shouldn’t drive your car with low oil or flat tires, and you shouldn’t run your furnace without proper maintenance. Yearly tune-ups extend the life of your equipment and save you money on costly repairs.
What happens during a tune-up?
An experienced technician will follow a thorough process to maintain your equipment. During a Western Heating and Air tune-up, your technician will use a detailed checklist to determine the health of your unit and take steps to adjust anything that is out of spec.
Here’s what your certified technician will do during your tune-up:
Test your thermostat
Your technician will ensure that the thermostat has working batteries and that it operates correctly.
Check for water damage, dents, and rust
Water damage and rust can mean that the system is compromised and could be leaking in some way. It may also mean that there is too much condensation in your system.
Inspect your blowers for cleanliness
A dirty blower can mean that it has to work harder to blow air through your home. It can also mean that too many particles enter your home through your system, making it harder to breathe clean air.
Inspect exchangers for damage or rust
A cracked heat exchanger can leak gas into your home. Inspection of the heat exchanger is extremely important for your family’s safety!
Clean dust and debris off the system
Like anything in your home, your system is prone to collect dust over time. The various moving parts in your furnace perform much better without dust particles getting in the way!
Test static pressure to guarantee proper airflow
If your static pressure is too high or low it may mean that your system is working extra hard to keep your home at a proper temperature. This may be a problem with duct sizing, or simply be that your system needs to be adjusted for proper airflow.
Test the furnace and water heater for gas leaks
Gas leaks can be poisonous, causing illness or worse in your home. Our technicians will carefully inspect your system for gas leaks so you can have the peace of mind that comes with clean air in your home!
Give us a call!
A Western Heating and Air tune-up includes more than 30 steps to guarantee the proper functionality of your system. (Is that thorough or what??) Our biggest priority is your comfort!
Give your system a proper rejuvination now! Call us at (385) 273-3200 and schedule your tune-up today!
Posted on January 6th, 2021
How Can Your HVAC Reduce Coronavirus Risk?
Since the coronavirus first made its appearance in the western world last year, scientists have been working to reduce its spread. The details of the virus may take time to unravel but we can use what we know now to reduce your family’s risk.
2020 was a year full of unexpected twists and turns throughout the world. Because of this, customers often ask us what we can do to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus at home.
HVAC systems can either improve air quality or make it worse. In many ways, the best way to reduce the spread of this virus is similar to reducing any virus in your home. Based on current research, here are three ways to reduce your risk of exposure and spread in your home through your HVAC system.
Boost fresh air
Researchers tell us that how much of the virus you are exposed to impacts how sick you get. Of course, your own immune system’s function and whether you have underlying conditions will also affect this. Reducing the amount of stale air buildup in your HVAC system will both reduce your risk of exposure and help boost your immune system.
Proper ventilation, which requires both the removal of stale air and the introduction of fresh outdoor air, is a step in the right direction for keeping your exposure down and reducing your risk of infection.
Tighter humidity control
The risk of getting and spreading coronavirus goes up as winter sets in, caused in part by reduced humidity. Drier air allows smaller aerosols containing the virus to remain suspended longer. This suspension exacerbates the spread of airborne viruses like the coronavirus. Lower humidity also dries out mucus membranes, making your body more welcoming to the virus as this defense mechanism becomes weaker.
Add humidity to your home, ideally via a whole house system, and reduce your risk due to poor humidity.
Upgrading your home’s filter to a HEPA filter can remove particles like viruses from your home’s air. Individual room purifiers can help further reduce the virus count in specific areas like bedrooms. When you replace your furnace filter, have your technician check the fan for proper performance. HEPA filters can slow airflow so it’s always good to double check.
Give us a call
Note that there is no guarantee that you won’t get coronavirus, but you can minimize the risk. Remember, as more research is conducted, more information will come forward. If you need help assessing and upgrading your HVAC system to reduce your COVID risk, give one of our knowledgeable System Advisors a call at (385) 273-3200 or visit us at westernheatingair.com. We’ll come to give you a free system assessment!
Posted on December 31st, 2020
How to Stay Motivated to Finish
With 2020 coming to close many people are setting New Year’s resolutions for 2021. It’s a time where we reflect on the past year and set goals for tasks and habits to improve in the coming year.
If you’re one of those blessed people who finishes everything consistently, stop reading. However, if you’re like most people, you probably have a laundry list of half-finished projects and unmet resolutions haunting you.
We’re here to help! We all want to change nasty habits and improve ourselves, so here are some tips for reaching the end of the road.
Imagine the feeling of finishing
In the midst of hard, ugly work, it’s difficult to see the beauty of a finished project. Whether it’s a novel, artwork, or home improvement project, there’s always a discouraging middle piece that makes you want to quit. Focus on the feeling of accomplishment you get when it’s done.
Set aside daily blocks of time
Feelings aren’t reliable. It’s inevitable that some days you just won’t want to face it. Organize your days and weeks with blocks of time to work on your project regardless of how you feel. It will eventually get done as your good days make up for the slow ones.
Set up your workspace
If set up and cleanup are part of the task every single time, then you have an automatic barrier to working on your project. While you need to keep a tidy work area, have as much ready to go as possible so you can dive right in with minimal fuss.
Take a break
Lack of motivation is one thing but burnout is quite another. Take breaks to rejuvenate and make sure you have a set time to return to the project so you’re not more tempted to abandon it.
This may not seem critical to staying focused on a project but it’s more important than you think. Taking time to nourish relationships closest to you will keep you going longer with less stress and guilt (especially if you have small children).
Life gets busy and with ups and downs, tasks can take longer than we plan. Try not to be discouraged if you haven’t reached your deadline. Instead, review your progress from the beginning. As long as you’re consistent, you’ll see the growth from the beginning and will want to keep going.
Focus on actions, not outcomes
This is a biggie. We tend to get lost in the desire for an outcome, whether it’s weight loss or completion of a fantastic project. This leads to feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when we’re working and progress is slow. Focus on putting in the time and doing the work.
Here’s hoping that you stay motivated and finish your projects!
Posted on December 23rd, 2020
Merry Christmas from Western!
We are wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Western Heating and Air! May your homes be cheery, bright, and WARM this winter!
One of our favorite ways to get into the spirit of the season is the yearly Gift of Heat and Heart giveaway. For two weeks this fall we asked for nominations from around the state for families in need of heat in their home. We read dozens of nominations and wish we could pick all of them!
Gift of Heat 2020
On December 21, we partnered with FM100.3 to bring the gift of heat to Rebecca and James Jenson, a family in dire need of better heating in their home. We arrived with FM100.3 and delivered gifts, gift baskets, and, of course, a brand new furnace! Our expert technicians spent the day installing the furnace and ensuring that the system will work well for years!
The Jenson’s were nominated by Rebecca’s sister Julie, who told us a little about their extremely difficult year. “They have had such a tough year already with flooding in their home, which displaced them for weeks,” said Julie. “Their son has autism and struggles to live in other places so they really struggled to manage that whole situation. Then with COVID and a car accident that left my sister injured, they have just been in real need this year. I was heartbroken when their heater went out this fall and there was no money to fix it.”
Here at Western, we are so grateful for the opportunities to give back to our community. The yearly Gift of Heat giveaway is one of the highlights of our year, but it is only possible because of our loyal customers. Thank you all for being part of our ever-growing family! If you have heating and air concerns this holiday season, please call Western Heating and Air at (385) 273-3200.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Posted on December 18th, 2020
Your Winter HVAC To-DON’T List
When it comes to your HVAC system, your to-don’t list is just as important as your to-do list. Avoiding these common mistakes and poor habits can help you avoid stress related to your HVAC this winter.
Here are the top six activities to put on your HVAC to-don’t list this winter.
Crank up the heat
Of course, you have to turn up the temperature to keep your home liveable during the coldest time of year. But to keep your energy bills down and lengthen the operating life of your furnace, resist the urge to turn your home into a toasty haven. Keep it comfortable but leave the shorts packed away for the season.
Ignore your humidifier
Winter is typically associated with low humidity and adding a humidifier is the best way to deal with this. But a humidifier is not a set-it-and-forget-it piece of equipment. You can end up with moisture problems when you least expect it. Monitor areas like your basement for too much moisture and make adjustments if necessary.
Leave old insulation on ductwork
If you have ductwork passing through unheated spaces, it might already be insulated (if not, another “to-don’t” would be to ignore this situation – add insulating it to your to-do list!). You may not think much of it but insulation degrades over time, causing heat to be transferred from your ductwork into this unheated space, wasting energy and costing you more.
Run an untuned furnace
After everything that has happened throughout the year, tuning your furnace might be lower on your to-do list. But running your furnace for another year without inspection and a tune-up can cause more problems, making this a critical to-don’t for winter.
Run your furnace with dirty ductwork
Every time your furnace comes on, it circulates the dust and other particles accumulated in the ductwork. With extra time indoors from the chill of winter, your family is exposed to more allergens, dust, dander, and germs. Even if you’ve used your central system for summer, the higher temperature from your furnace provides the ideal conditions for bacteria to multiply.
Use your mechanical room for storage
Mechanical equipment like furnaces and water heaters require clearances around them for proper operation and maintenance. For anything burning fuel, a lack of oxygen causes incomplete combustion, resulting in the dreaded production of carbon monoxide. For your family’s safety, it’s better to have a messy living room than a crowded mechanical room.
Give us a call
If you need to take care of your to-don’t list with some to-do’s, give Western Heating and Air a call at 385-273-3200. We are always ready to help you prevent issues with your HVAC system this winter.